Sumeru Worlds: 1 definition



Sumeru Worlds means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

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Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

The world mountain of Sumeru is an immense, strangely shaped peak which arises in the center of the world, and around which the Sun and Moon revolve. Its base rests in a vast ocean, and it is surrounded by several rings of lesser mountain ranges and oceans. The three worlds listed below are all located on or around Sumeru: the Trayastrimsa devas live on its peak, the Caturmaharajikakayika devas live on its slopes, and the Asuras live in the ocean at its base. Sumeru and its surrounding oceans and mountains are the home not just of these deities, but also vast assemblies of beings of popular mythology who only rarely intrude on the human world.

  • Trayastrimsa or Tavatimsa (Tib: and – The world "of the Thirty three (devas)" is a wide flat space on the top of Mount Sumeru, filled with the gardens and palaces of the devas. Its ruler is Sakra devanam indra, "lord of the devas". Besides the eponymous Thirty three devas, many other devas and supernatural beings dwell here, including the attendants of the devas and many apsarases (nymphs). The beings of this world are 1,500 feet (460 m) tall and live for 36,000,000 years (Sarvastivada tradition) or 3/4 of a yojana tall and live for 30,000,000 years (Vibhajyavada tradition). The height of this world is 80 yojanas above the Earth.
  • Caturmaharajikakayika or Catummaharajika (Tib: rgyal.chen bzhi) and – The world "of the Four Great Kings" is found on the lower slopes of Mount Sumeru, though some of its inhabitants live in the air around the mountain. Its rulers are the four Great Kings of the name, Virudhaka, Dhrtarastra, Virupaksa, and their leader Vaisravana. The devas who guide the Sun and Moon are also considered part of this world, as are the retinues of the four kings, composed of Kumbhandas (dwarfs), Gandharvas (fairies), Nagas (dragons) and Yaksas (goblins). The beings of this world are 750 feet (230 m) tall and live for 9,000,000 years (Sarvastivada tradition) or 90,000 years (Vibhajyavada tradition). The height of this world is from sea level up to 40 yojanas above the Earth.
  • Asura (Tib: and – The world of the Asuras is the space at the foot of Mount Sumeru, much of which is a deep ocean. It is not the Asuras original home, but the place they found themselves after they were hurled, drunken, from Trayastrimsa where they had formerly lived. The Asuras are always fighting to regain their lost kingdom on the top of Mount Sumeru, but are unable to break the guard of the Four Great Kings. The Asuras are divided into many groups, and have no single ruler, but among their leaders are Vemacitrin (Pali: Vepacitti) and Rahu.

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